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IMA says National Food Fortification Policy required to tackle alarming rise of Vitamin D deficiency
A CME was organized in Delhi by the Indian Medical Association to discuss the growing concern about the growing prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency among the Indian population.

Vitamin D, known for its crucial role in calcium and bone metabolism plays an important role in protecting the body against cognitive disorders, diabetes, cancer and CVDs like congestive heart failure and left ventricular hypertrophy.

The deficiency is found to be present in over 80-90% of Indians causing a huge concern amongst the medical fraternity.

The Rise and Shine campaign is a National movement initiated by the Indian Medical Association under an unconditional educational grant from USV. It aims to create sensitivity in its 2.5-lakh members across 30 states and 1700 branches over a period of two years about the need to raise awareness of Vitamin D deficiency.

The campaign also aims at providing soft skills training to all doctors on topics such as public speaking, managing patient records online, adapting to the new mobile app culture, how to break the news of death to a patient's family.

Addressing the media, Padma Shri Awardees Dr. A Marthanda Pillai, National President, IMA and Dr. KK Aggarwal, Honorary Secretary General, IMA in a joint statement said, "Lately, the deficiency of Vitamin D has been identified as a risk factor for various cardiovascular ailments such as ischemic heart diseases, congestive heart failure, heart attacks and strokes."

They added, "People with low circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH) D] have a higher incidence of high blood pressure and diabetes, conditions that are associated with cardiovascular diseases. The need of the hour is for the government to consider a National food fortification policy like those in place the USA & UK since decades. In the meanwhile, people must be encouraged to consume Vitamin D-rich foods, spend more time out in the sun, and take supplements as and when required."

The IMA Rise and Shine campaign in addition to conducting CME's and soft skill training workshops across 128 cities also comprises of a National daily SMS campaign for doctors, awareness through an active Facebook page, regular State and National Body meetings and public sensitization events.

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